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DHA’s Aaron Motsoaledi: Children of Immigrants Must be in School

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said every child needs to go to school.

He said when he had asked the Department of Basic Education why immigrant children were barred from school, he had been told the department was scared of Home Affairs inspectors. “That can’t happen in any modern democracy. I told them Home Affairs inspectors must not visit any schools unless there is a crime committed that needs Home Affairs. It’s more dangerous to have a child who is not in school.”

“Send them to school … We’ll look at the documentation later.”

He was speaking to GroundUp after briefing a joint meeting of the portfolio committees on Home Affairs and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs recently.

Motsoaledi told GroundUp that the three special permits which were issued to legalize the status of nationals from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Angolans already living in South Africa, will be renewed.

“The Lesotho permit is expiring in December. I am already in the process of renewing it,” said Motsoaledi. “We can’t stop those special permits if the problems that led to those special permits are not yet resolved.

“Unfortunately the Zimbabwean permit was for four years and the situation never became normal in those four years. We will renew, but we can’t automatically as the department. We have got to discuss with the cabinet.”

“The issue of migration is not purely a problem of Home Affairs as the mayor of Johannesburg would like people to believe,” said Motsoaledi. “It talks to many government departments because it talks to economy; it talks to job creation; it talks to inequality; it talks to unemployment – all those issues cannot be resolved by one department which is called Home Affairs.”

“We have accepted long ago that our borders are porous. We have presented to Parliament before that we are going to spruce up the Border Management Authority. We want to bring that forward,” he said.

In 2009, the South African government introduced a Dispensation of Zimbabwean Permit (DZP) to legalize the many Zimbabweans already inside the country because of the political and socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe. In 2014, the DZP was renewed and renamed ZSP (Zimbabwean Special Permit), which expired in December 2017. The ZSP was replaced with the ZEP (Zimbabwe Exemption Permit), which will expire in 2021.

The ZEP entitles the holder to study or conduct employment, but does not entitle the holder to the right to apply for permanent residence, irrespective of the period of stay in South Africa.

A similar dispensation was extended to nationals from Lesotho and Angola.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Plans for South Africa’s New e-Visa System

A new digital system for visa applications is on the cards for October.

The e-visa is part of government’s overhaul to make it easier for tourists to travel to South Africa, as well as for companies to acquire employees with scarce skills. President Ramaphosa made the commitment during his State of the Nation Address last Thursday.

“We’ll make good on our ambition to more than double international tourism arrivals to 21 million by 2030,” Ramaphosa said. “This will be achieved through the renewal of the country’s brand introducing a world-class visa regime and a significant focus on key markets.”

Ramaphosa’s commitment has been well received by business, but the industry says more is needed. “We welcome the fact that he said we’ll put in place a world-class visa system,” said Banking Association of SA CEO Cas Coovadia.

“What we would have liked him to say was that current visa system that’s impeding tourism will be suspended immediately.” Tourism accounts for about a tenth of the economy and employs about 1.6-million people.

The latest data shows an increase of more than 4 percent year-on-year in April. Home Affairs says the new visa system will enable investment. The department further stated that the visa system should also make it more efficient to admit people with scarce skills and it won’t compromise the country’s security.

“We’re now at the stage where we’re doing functional testing, once that’s done we’ll do a proper pilot with a few countries,” said Home Affairs Acting Director-General Thulani Mavuso “Once that’s completed we’ll go into production.”

Currently, citizens from 59 countries don’t need to apply for a visa to visit South Africa and this figure is set to increase soon. Tourism is a major impetus for growth and job creation and the e-visa will hopefully make travelling here easier.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South African Visa Issues to Be Resolved

In the days to Africa’s Travel Indaba fete in South Africa, a number of tour operators were denied visas, sparking an uproar on social media platforms.

However, in his remarks at Africa’s Travel Indaba at the ICC Durban on Saturday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his government was working towards reducing the enormous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists, who want to visit his country, face.

“If a tourist is held back by a lot of red tape, they immediately give up and go to another destination. This clearly requires that we should streamline our tourist visa regimes and as South Africa we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of a visa free travel dispensation and a single African air transport market,” Mr Ramaphosa said.

He added that his country was in the process of overhauling the visa dispensation and introducing world class e-visa system.

In his Facebook post, Uganda’s tour operator Amos Wekesa, the executive director of Great Lakes Safaris, condemned the continued denial of visas to Ugandans to travel to South Africa, irrespective of travel frequency.

South Africa’s tourism minister Derek Hanekom said:

“I met with a number of hosted buyers, sellers and media from more than 80 countries and asked them what would be a befitting welcome to our president and their message is recognition of tourism industry but from Nigeria to Ghana, from Kenya to Uganda to India and China, the sector has massive potential and to realise it, the visa dispensation must be overhauled.”

Indaba is the continent’s top annual travel and trade fair that attracts thousands of people and media from some 80 countries.

Uganda, represented by Uganda Tourism Board, won the gold certificate for an outstanding stand characterised with structural traits of eco-friendliness thanks to use of grass thatch, natural sticks and showcase of attractions such as gorillas, birds, wildlife and culture among others.

It was Uganda’s third gold win under the category of Southern African Development Community and Africa, having bagged the same award and recognition in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].